Nobody sugarcoating what actually happened in Virginia .
It was a terrible day for Democrats. It was so bad that some liberal pundits suggested the party should rethink their politics and message. The outlook for the next midterm elections is undoubtedly bleak.
As a longtime member of the all-politics-is-local school, the Virginia race was nationalized early on. Washington Democrats spent months debating over the amount of social problems to address and didn’t deliver a single thing. This helped Youngkin win and made him New Jersey Governor. The expected election of Phil Murphy will be a nail-biter. (AP eventually called it for Murphy. Ex-governor Terry McAuliffe was also affected by President Biden’s low approval ratings.
Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin speaks at an election night party in Chantilly, Va., early Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, after he defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Now I have to add that most national media types don’t really care about how Youngkin will do in Richmond. His role was to help determine if a Republican who is not dangerous could keep Trump’s base happy while appealing to those party members that aren’t as fond of him. And Youngkin pulled it off, in part by keeping Donald Trump out of the state. Trump issued an apology claiming credit.
McAuliffe spent a whole lot of time trying to depict Youngkin (a businessman who put $20 million of his own money into the race) as a Trump acolyte, which meant he didn’t have much of a positive message.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe speaks at an election night party in McLean, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. Voters will decide between Republican Glenn Youngkin and Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
(AP Photo/Steve Helber)
But what much of the media missed–or deliberately mischaracterized–was the role of the so-called culture wars. Youngkin was portrayed as a book-banner for supporting bills that would allow parents to opt out of their children reading explicit books. This was despite the fact that Toni Morrison won a Pulitzer Prize. McAuliffe attempted this on “Meet the Press”, but Chuck Todd was not impressed.
But parents have the power to choose, even though McAuliffe has stated that they should not make school decisions. It’s powerful when combined with the frustration at school closings that were used to justify mandates.
What the Democratic Party’s wokewing fails to see is that parents aren’t always racist if they are unhappy with the education their children are receiving. These parents have valid grievances. This was not about critical race theory which is not taught in Virginia schools. While some left-leaning hosts and anchors still complain about the racist dog whistle used by right-wing media outlets, many journalists realize they have misjudged this issue. Even Van Jones of CNN, an ex-White House official says Democrats come across as “annoying, offensive, and seem outof touch.” “
It makes sense to cast this as a personal setback for Biden, who campaigned for McAuliffe, along with Kamala Harris and Barack Obama. It’s more a result of Biden’s inability break the suicide stalemate at the Hill, and his brazen overreach with the $3.5 trillion bill.
The Democrats were handed the keys by the voters, and now the car is in the ditch. It doesn’t seem like they are a governing party at the moment. Biden agreed to Bernie’s most important agenda. It’s not selling.
President Biden addresses a press conference at the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow on Nov. 2, 2021. Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images
(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
To be sure, Youngkin was an attractive campaigner in a state that Trump lost by 10 points. Youngkin outperformed Trump in rural and suburban areas and cut McAuliffe in urbanized Northern Virginia.
The Democrats have always struggled in rural areas, but they got clobbered in Virginia, where exit polls say Youngkin won by 3-1 among Whites without a college degree. Some pundits even believe it is good for Trump that Trump was banned on Twitter. When asked by a radio interviewer about Fox News’ call to Virginia, half an hour later than CNN or MSNBC, he said that it was probably because they wanted a Democrat win. It’s possible that Fox was not willing to admit error. You didn’t complain that Fox was the first one to name Arizona as Biden. )
Or maybe Youngkin found the winning formula in the post-Trump age, something no one knew a year before. It’s obvious that Democratic dysfunction makes it easier than journalists thought.